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Murphy fears could hamper search for my Deirdre -- dad

THE father of missing woman Deirdre Jacob has said speculation surrounding Larry Murphy's connection to his daughter's disappearance was hurting her case.

Michael Jacob has urged people not to listen to speculation and to come forward with any information they might have.

Deirdre (18) was last seen walking from Newbridge town centre in the direction of her family home at Roseberry on July 28, 1998.

Recent speculation and media reports have told how Larry Murphy was allegedly working in the Newbridge area on the day of Deirdre's disappearance.



Carpentry

One publication alleged that a cheque stub found following the death in 1999 of Deirdre's grandmother, Mrs Brigid O'Grady, had Murphy's name on it, indicating that he had undertaken carpentry work for her.

The late Mrs O'Grady ran a shop in the town centre and Deirdre called in to visit her on the day she disappeared.

"Some newspapers are having a field day with speculation, but where is speculation going to get us?" Michael Jacob said.

"People drawing maps and talking about geographical areas and movements doesn't get us anywhere in our search for Deirdre.

"If we were to read all of the newspapers, we would be driven around the bend because some of what is being printed is downright inaccurate.

"We have to work with the facts of the case -- speculation doesn't help at all."

A spokesperson for Newbridge gardai said they fear that members of the public may not come forward with new information on the disappearance of Deirdre, whose case is still open, and under investigation.

"One fear we have is that there is a general presumption here that Larry Murphy did everything. People may have information on Deirdre Jacob and won't come forward," the spokesperson said.

"We are keeping an open mind -- this case is still open."

Michael Jacob's comments come after Jo Jo Dullard's sister Mary Phelan revealed that she does not believe that Murphy is responsible for her sister's mysterious disappearance.

"I believe he had nothing to do with it.



Evidence

"I think that it is wrong to put it out there that he is a serial killer because there is no evidence to back it up."

Detectives have tried to question Murphy in relation to the three disappearances but he refused to cooperate and rule himself out of the investigations.

hnews@herald.ie